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Apple patent filing involves a foldable iPhone with a self-healing display

Apple has applied for a patent (number 20200313111) for “electronic devices with flexible display cover layers” that hints at foldable iPhones with “self-healing’ displays.

A foldable smartphone would have to have a bend axis for the bendable screen. The problem is that such a screen can be easily damaged. Apple says that to facilitate bending about the bend axis without damage, the display may include a display cover layer with a flexible portion interposed between first and second rigid portions of the display cover layer in one example. 

Still, the display cover layer for the iPhone may be scratched or dented in daily use. Part of Apple’s idea to help mitigate the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections in a display cover layer is to include a layer of self-healing material. 

There are some options here. The layer of self-healing material may be formed across the entire display cover layer or may be formed only in the flexible region of the display cover layer.

Apple says the self-healing may occur in the layer of self-healing material without prompting (e.g., when the self-healing coating is dented, the material of the coating may fill the dent even without external intervention). Alternatively, a user could initiate self-healing by externally applied heat, light, electric current, or other type of external stimulus.

Apple says that when heat is used as a stimulus for the self-healing process, the display cover layer may include transparent conductors that form a heating layer in the display cover layer. The heating layer may be used to generate heat to stimulate self-healing. The heating layer may be used to generate heat in response to user input, according to a predetermined schedule, or when the iPhone is charging. 

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.